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Tusker, tusker, tusker

December 5, 2011

The ultimate African beach experience is how Papa Remo’s beach just on the northern edge of Watamu was billed. As it was Sunday, you may think that I deserved some hours of rest and relaxation, but that was not to be the case. Obviously, in order properly to promote Medina Palms, for whom I am a sales agent, then I must be able to answer fully any questions about the local amenities, and such was my task yesterday. Talking of tasks, the first was the Tusker task. Were the Tusker beers cold enough, was the service of a standard to which one would like to be accustomed? The answer to the first was yes, but to the second sadly not really. Was the beach with its picturesque islands within wading distance as pretty and as exotically charming as we had been led to believe, yes, as I hope my picture today conveys at least in some part.

Papa Remo's beach club at Watamu. Papa however seemed to be having a day off from the kitchens

The food and wine list also needed to be scrutinized in some minute detail and although the menu looked great, the prices were higher than Mapengo’s yesterday and the food and service of a lower standard. although my barbecued king fish was good, that nice lady decorator was unhappy with her salad, so clouds began to develop not only at the lunch table but down the coast where clouds were building and a massive storm loomed. Luckily I was able to extract her and the threatened storm abated on both fronts but only just, so nothing for it but back to afternoon tea by the pool at Alhamra.

This is a quintessentially colonial experience, with china cups and tea in a pot requiring a strainer, served by the charming Kenyan staff beside the pool. All that missing was the cucumber sandwiches. I needed some time thereafter to send some emails and texts to some, well, all of my BA long haul pilot friends to remind them of their clear duty in terms of an upgrade for our trip back, all too soon, on Tuesday evening if they wish to secure their signed copies of my book in time for Christmas. That nice lady decorator remarked rather uncharitably that perhaps we might be better off not threatening them with such a gift, but I know she was only joking.

With packing likely to rear its ugly head in the near future, I began to collect up my various items of clothing strewn throughout the house. Amongst those were my black deck shoes of the type much favoured by us old salty sea dogs but I could not find them anywhere and the thought that they may have been stolen crossed my mind. With some resignation, I asked one of the staff and was told that they had taken them away for polishing, so that call to the police to seal the ports was not required.

Last full day then, so to the tailors to collect my stunning lime green golf shorts and shirt ensemble and some other brightly coloured lounging about trousers, and of course to find a few more cushion covers. I think we already have in the region of 60, but according to that nice lady decorator you can never have too many.

Thereafter, we have provisionally decided to give Pape Remo a chance to redeem himself, mainly as he has one of the best beach spots in Watamu and on-the-beach waiter service for those all important Tuskers plus quite good gins and tonic although that could change as it is rOasting down there. If we go we shall be getting there via tuk tuk, and as I have never been beaten in this mode of transport I am certain that I shall remain unbeaten and remain tuk tuk triumphant in Africa.

Chris France

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